The Maze Runner by James Dashner

When Thomas becomes aware of his surroundings, he realizes that he’s in a lightless metal box and it’s moving upward, swaying as it goes.  He doesn’t know how he got into the box, nor where it’s taking him.  In fact, the only thing he can recall with any certainty is his first name.  When the lift finally stops, he searches in vain for a door but finds none.  Thomas begins to scream; minutes later, the top of the box slides open and he’s blinded by the sudden sunlight.  Voices drift down and a rope soon follows.

Thomas finds himself surrounded by teenage boys, of whom some voices seem familiar.  Just like Thomas, the boys don’t know who they are or how they’ve ended up here—they just know that for the past 2 years, a new boy has been delivered to them once a month.  Something about Thomas’ arrival is different though.  Boys who survive the sting of the Grievers appear to regain some memories of life before the Glade and each of them remembers Thomas.  And the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade.

The Gladers have survived in this strange, isolated environment by effectively managing their community—everyone has a role to play.  The job that calls to Thomas is that of Maze Runner.  Maze Runners go out into the maze every day, searching for the way “home”.  Maze Runners have to be quick, not only to outrun the deadly Grievers, but also to get back to the Glade before the doors close at nightfall.  Maze Runners also have to be sharp thinkers to avoid getting lost in the Maze—the walls change every night.

I could not put this book down.  That said, there are some points that bothered me.  I felt that the character development could have been stronger:  more show, less tell.  I’m frustrated that at the end of the book, I still have no idea WHY these teens are in this situation.

I will be looking for The Scorch Trials in October!

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